Toddler with Cradle Cap?

Updated on August 16, 2008
E.T. asks from Vienna, VA
30 answers

My almost 2-year old daughter has had brown patches on her scalp for most of the summer. I thought at first it was from the sun but have now decided that it is probably cradle cap. They are thick and dry but not flaky or itchy. She didn't have cradle cap when she was an infant.

Has anyone had a toddler develop cradle cap without having had it as an infant? Is there a shampoo that is better for this condition? We've mostly been using Johnson and Johnson and Sauve (maybe I should go back to using Arbonne?) It doesn't bother her, so I was just going to ask the doctor the next time we go, but I thought there might be an easy fix in the meantime.

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D.M.

answers from Norfolk on

My now eight year old had cradle cap until he was six. There is some real gooey stuff you can buy over the counter, baby oil works and tea tree shampoo.

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

The best thing to use is baby oil. Rub it into the scalp and let sit for a minute or two and then gently comb it out. You will need to wash her hair multiple times and you may have to repeat the oil in another session.

J.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Selsum Blue is a good shampoo for cradle cap, or you can get some mineral oil rub it in her hair and use a comb after it has sat for a while (1 to 2 minutes) and it will slide right up.

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E.E.

answers from Washington DC on

my 13 month old had cradle cap for many many months. daily baths with lots of gently scalp scrubbing did the trick. you don't need any special shampoo, it's the action of physical abrasion that removes the build-up (and personally i wouldn't use anything but the mildest baby shampoo). after the bath you can run a fin tooth comb against the scalp too and that helps to lift the build-up as well.

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I would try just calling your pediatrician if you are not due to see him/her for a few more months. That way you can describe the patches and get some advice on how to treat them. On the chance that your daughter would need to be seen sooner, your doctor could then make that decision for you.

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J.C.

answers from Richmond on

My youngest had cradle cap for the first time as a 13 month old. It developed b/c she started having a fit when I washed her hair, so I stopped scrubbing her head. To fix it I just made sure I scrubbed her head every night and then, if I were reading to her, I might try to take some of it off.

It was gone in 7- 10 days, I think.

Hope this helps -
J.

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E.B.

answers from Washington DC on

When my daughter was 9 months old, she still had her cradle cap. Her dr said it was just old cradle cap that was "stuck."
I read a bunch of advise on mamasource and found something that worked for us.
I put baby oil on her scalp, then scrubbed/rubbed it in with a soft bristled toothbrush. I allowed that to sit on her scalp for about 5 minutes then combed it out with a fine comb (just a regular black one that came in my husband's hair clipper kit). I had to run the comb gently across her scalp, not just her hair. Then, I shampooed twice to get the oil out. It got almost everything!
I repeated a couple of days later & she's been fine ever since.

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D.B.

answers from Washington DC on

This could be psoriasis in which case you would try a shampoo with salycic acid. There is a less expensive type at Walmart and Target. Psoriasis is often associated with folks who get eczema (dry, itchy patches of skin). Our now 23 year old daughter was diagnosed with eczema and later psoriasis. She didn't have any eczema until she started on milk. The psoriasis appeared a few years ago. All of the hair dressers thought it was conditioner build up and the pediatricians said it was eczema. It wasn't until she went to a dermatologist for treatment of a wart that we were told it was psoriasis. They had to do a topical foam treatment first to remove the scaly skin and then follow up with the shampoo treatment.

D.

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L.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Go back to Arbonne! :) IT WORKS!

L.
[email protected]____.com

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H.R.

answers from Denver on

I am sure everyone has responded . There is a shampoo especially for cradle cap. It softens the skin and you use a brush to flake it off. I don't remember who it is made by but you can get it at target. its in a green bottle.

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J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

If you put baby oil on the spots and leave it for a few minutes then you can easily comb the spots out with a fine tooth comb.

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F.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi E., when my daughter got cradle cap i was told to use Mineral Oil. It is mainly used to soften stool, however it works wonders for cradle cap. You leave it on for twenty minutes and wash your daughter's hair and you will see a difference.

F. Deleveaux

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S.P.

answers from Norfolk on

I've been using Loreal kids shampoo and conditioner and his cradle cap has been disappearing. He loves it doo because he's thinking he's a big boy especially when he helps wash his hair.

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K.H.

answers from Washington DC on

E.

My daughter developed cradle cap when she was 2 and also did not have this as a baby , I found a treatment in 'Bath & Body works'. I cannot remember the name but it worked brilliantly , I only had to use it twice and it was gone , you rub a small amount onto the affected area on the evening after they have washed there hair and leave it overnight , you then rinse off in the morning. I'm sure if you go into the store a member of staff will be able to help you , I remember it was with the small selection of baby shampoo's , it's a very small tube and costs around $13 but well worth it for how quickly it works.

Hope you find it!

K. H

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

it doesn't really sound like cradle cap, but with most afflictions of this sort, all natural old-fashioned olive oil is your friend!
khairete
S.

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J.G.

answers from Washington DC on

I have 2 kids w/cradle cap--baby oil and Head & Shoulders work for us. A WORD OF WARNING!--Head & Shoulders REALLY stings eyes if it gets in (I've used it myself). Take huge precautions with your little one.

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B.T.

answers from Charlottesville on

I would watch trying some of the ideas listed below. My daughter has really blond hair as a baby she had it and I would try the baby oil soaking and baby brush. Yes it would come out but also would her hair. It went away and came back this year. She is 7 years old. I just put T-gel shampoo on it 2 times a week and it cleared up. I think it is related to excema that she has instead of cradle cap. You should let her doctor check it out.

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S.K.

answers from Norfolk on

my daughter has the same issue and we asked out pediatrician about it and he said to use Head and Shoulders. sure enough it went away. so from time to time we use it on her. We also take a fine comb and gently comb it out. she doesn't much like that but who would. hope this helps. our daugther just turned one.

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S.W.

answers from Norfolk on

I didn't have this with my kids but friend that did used olive oil. Just pour about a 1/4 cup on her head, massage it in and let it sit for a few hours (yes its messy for a bit) maybe do it on a nice day when you can be in the backyard. Also take a comb or brush and really work it into the patches and all. Then shampoo like normal. Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My 23 month old son had the same problem several months ago. Based on the advice of a friend, we used Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoo to wash his hair and it cleared it right up!

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A.P.

answers from Washington DC on

You can try to rub baby oil on it, I have heard that it helps. My son had it when he was well over a year old and it just went away with time. I have always used the Johnson and Johnson baby wash for both of my kiddos. Good luck to you.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Don't try to fix anything that you don't know what it is. Call her doctor, speak with a nurse and follow their instructions. If you've been traveling recently or using a public pool there are all sorts of things it could be. Good luck.

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, E., Store brands can contain lots of harsh chemicals, so it is best to shop with a company that manufactures their products with health & safety in mind. If Arbonne worked for you, go back to that. If you want more cost effective products, try Melaleuca. melaleuca.com; saferforyourhome.com. Good luck! N. B.

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L.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Hesitant to heed my pediatrician's advice and to use dandruff shampoo on my 3 month old, I did some online research and discovered Aubrey Organic Natural Baby & Kids Bath Soap. I purchased it yesterday from Moms - My Organic Market - and used it on my son's scalp. It worked like a charm, and he's had some bad cradle cap.

Below is the link:

http://www.aubrey-organics.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid...

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M.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, E..

Sophia (2) had cradle cap pretty badly when she was a baby/infant.

Jason (brand name) makes a fabulous oil that takes care of cradle cap: Earth's Best Baby Oil (www.jason-natural.com). It's at Whole Foods and a lot of natural products stores.

I massaged it into her scalp over about a week or so, washing about every other day, or not at all, depending on my time and energy. During the week, flakes would come off during the massage.

I was massaging with just a finger or two, not HARD, but vigorously. Yes, her hair will look really oily for the time you're treating, but it's worth it in the end. And no one really cares what a baby's hair looks like. :-)

It worked like a charm, and she's never had problems since.

Good luck.

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L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi E.,

You are on the right track wanting to clear this up as susceptibility to bacterial infection and candidiasis is increased with cradle cap.

One of my clients had great success clearing up her son's cradle cap with the following treatment: Blend pure Melaleuca oil with olive oil. Combine thoroughly and apply to the affected area. Leave it on for several minutes before shampooing with Melaleuca's specially formulated, gentle children's shampoo (if her face is affected, you will need a gentle face cleanser and theraputic lotion as well).

L.

For more information: Call ###-###-#### or visit http://www.MakeMoreGreen.com

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K.F.

answers from Washington DC on

My 22 month old has always had a little bit of cradle cap from the time she was an infant. My mother found a shampoo in the baby aisle & I don't know the name of it but it had Winnie The Pooh on the bottle. It didn't really help all that well.

Another thing I have tried was wetting her hair, putting a little bit of olive oil in it, work it in, then comb out the pieces. Then shampoo as normal. I was never consistent with that treatment & the older she gets, the less there is of it. Its not hurting her so I haven't been too worried about it.

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J.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I have used a baby brush to gently scrub the areas while shampooing and get the cradle cap off . There are shampoos, but I have never used them, I have been told the trick is to always scrub their heads when bathing them, easier said than done!

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C.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I agree with the other Moms that you should first have the pediatrician and/or a dermatologist look at her condition before you attempt to treat it. However, if it does turn out to be cradle cap, I found the Mustela baby products to be very useful. They have a foam shampoo and cream treatment designed specifically for cradle cap. It's also hypoallergenic. Check out the website:

http://www.mustelausa.com/cradle_cap_shampoo http://www.mustelausa.com/stelaker.html

My son had severe cradle cap as an infant (he also has eczema) and I used it for him after trying everything. It worked very well. I pray that all goes well for you and your daughter.

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R.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My almost 2 year old has cradle cap and dry skin. I find using oil -- olive oil is best because it is the most "natural" and then taking a baby comb to get the flakes out works best. It also could be pealing from sunburn if she has little hair??? Good luck!

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